What is malware?

Malware is a blanket term for a malicious piece of software, such as a virus, a worm, ransomware, spyware and more. These programs are used by cybercriminals to cause destruction and steal your sensitive data. There are lots of ways in which malware can make its way into your system, with a targeted attack to the victim through an email, link or file download, but they can also be inserted manually if the hacker can gain physical access to the computer.

These are the three main ways in which malware can infect computers:

A worm – A worm is a one-off piece of malicious software that travels from computer to computer by reproducing itself.

A trojan – Unlike worm software, a trojan does not reproduce itself. It masks itself as something that you are familiar with, so you accidentally activate it and then it starts spreading.

A virus – A virus is a specific computer code that inserts itself into the code of another program and starts spreading so the malicious action can be done.

Within these categories, there are a number of other types of malware that can be categorised by what they do once they have made their way onto your system.


Some of these are a lot more common than others, with ransomware becoming more and more abundant. The most common attack vector is via spam or phishing email. It’s so easy for a hacker to create a realistic looking email appearing to be from somebody you trust, and all it takes it one accidental click and your system could be infected.

What’s the best way to prevent it?

The best way to prevent these kinds of attacks are with a combination of spam filtering, 365 monitoring, patch management and employee cyber security training. Even if you have an extremely strong security system in place, if your employees are not educated, they can easily allow the malicious software to access your system by not following the right steps if they notice something suspicious, or if they don’t notice it at all.

When it comes to security software, using a combination of security tools prevents vulnerabilities in your system and keeps everything up to date. Cybercriminals often look for weaknesses in your system and target that as a way in. The software allows us to constantly monitor your systems for any suspicious activity so we can alert you and stop the malicious activity from developing.

In case something were to happen, it’s always important to have a backup copy of all of your data saved onto the cloud in case of a ransomware attack. This means that if you are targeted and locked out of your system you will still always have access to your files.

Please contact us for more information.